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May 10, 2018


***NOTE NEW DEADLINE FOR BANNERS: JUNE 21 (details below)***

April 23, 2018 was a sad day for Toronto. Shocking, scary and incredibly tragic. My heart goes out to those who lost their loved ones, friends and colleagues. And also to those who were hurt either physically, or emotionally by what they witnessed. Healing is a long journey, and I wish them all much strength and perseverance.

In addition to those directly effected, the whole city is hurting. In fact much of Canada is hurting. April was a rough month with this and Humboldt happening. We humans are one tribe at the end of the day, and we are affected by each others suffering.

With all this in mind, I have decided to start another community collaborative: “TORONTO LOVE PROJECT”, in the hope of providing a little hope and positivity in the midst of this tragic event. Maybe a show of unity at this time is what we need. Feeling a part of a bigger picture of peace and love helps make us feel more secure. I hope you will join me in making this happen as you did with “To Boston with Love”. Quilters around the world really pulled together when Amy and I put the call out for that project, and we received around 2,000 peace and love flags within just over a month. It was amazing! Better yet was people’s responses to the exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. For me it was a powerful lesson on how planting a seed for a small idea can lead to big things. So with that lesson in my pocket, here we go again…

I wanted to find a location that was a community hub in the area close to where the incident occurred. I connected with North York Arts and I’m happy to report that we have found a beautiful, big space, the North York City Centre, that has great height and light – my brief for an uplifting environment. All it needs is colour, and hey, we can provide that, right??



So how can you help? Well, I’m asking quilters to make us some long banners customized with your interpretation of love, peace & hope. It can be a literal message (pieced or hand-embroidered) or just a beautifully pieced banner that feels like love.

The overall idea is to turn this community hub into a space filled with beauty, comfort and love – like a big visual hug! If you or your guild would like to join in, leave a message here to let me know so that we can plan the installation.

After you make your banner, please post it on Instagram and tag it #torontoloveproject. Feel free spread the word! Repost this on your blog to let others know about the project!

To ensure the piece looks cohesive, we have a few guidelines to stick to. But we encourage you to express your creativity in the design of your banner.

Finished Size: 4″ X 22ft (264″) 
Theme: Love, Peace, Hope, Toronto, North York (You choose the design)
Style: Modern
Colors: Bright, warm jewel tones: Red, Pink, Fuchsia, Orange, Yellow, Gold, Violet, Magenta – minimal white as an accent if needed.
Fabric: Solids only please. (No printed fabrics.)
Technique: Pieced, Hand-embroidered or Appliquéd. (No machine embroidery)
Double Sided (if possible): Banners will be viewed from both side
You don’t have to piece all 22ft – you could piece a section of it and then add additional length with a section of colour. Of course if you are up for 22ft of piecing, that would be spectacular! So have some fun and just go for it!

Free skinny font pattern for banner makers: See my later blog post about my new Skinny Alphabet Pattern – a font that fits perfectly into the 4″ width.

Optional free Morse Code LOVE banner pattern: If you are stuck for creative ideas, here’s one: the lovely Katy Devlin and Alison Harle from the Ottawa MQG generously put together a free pattern for you to use. It is the word LOVE in Morse code – and that works really well with this looong skinny banner. Such smarty pants they are! You can download it here: MessageofLoveBannerPattern.

Please also see additional note below.


WEIGHT: There will be a number of banners on each bunting and we have to take weight into account. We’d also like the banners to hang softly and not be stiff. For this reason please: No batting or interfacing between layers.
Also, if appliquéing your design on, please use lightweight materials for fusing.
NON-FABRIC MATERIALS: We’d rather you stayed away from fabric inks, but you may use a small amount to stamp a message on. If so, keep ink coverage minimal, and use the washable and iron-able kind, and be sure to heat seal it. Please do not use puff fabric ink or the fabric pens that are not iron-able. These banners need to be washable and iron-able.
MESSAGES: Kindly refrain from using political messages or any corporate logos. Anything deemed negative in any way will be excluded.

Banners should be at North York Arts no later than: June 14, 2018. Extended deadline: June 21.  Tip: If you have guild members or friends that are making banners, ship them together to save $$$.

Please roll your banner around an empty toilet roll as shown below and ship in a box. This way we will not have to iron all the banners we receive. Also, please include a note with your name, IG handle (if you have one) & location. We’d also love to know the story about why you contributed if you wish to share. Post a pic on Instagram so we know to expect your banner. Tag it #TorontoLoveProject

Please ship to:

ATT: Lila Karim / Berene Campbell
North York Arts (Toronto Centre for the Arts)
5040 Yonge St.
Toronto, ON
M2N 6R8

If you are in Toronto: TMQG’ers can give them to Berene at the May 27 meeting. Or DM Berene on Instagram @happysewlucky to arrange drop off near Yonge / StClair.



This tutorial is to make a 4″ wide x 22 ft tall banner with a 20″ long binding strip to be used as a tie.

Seam allowance is 1/4″.


FABRIC: see note on solids and colour palette above
TEMPLATE: Print out the BannerTipTemplate for the pointed tip. (Print it at 100%)
STRING: 2 1/2″ butcher’s twine or parcel string. (Needs to be able to carry a bit of weight)

STEP ONE: Design and stitch your banner designs x 2 sides

Think tall and skinny! You can either piece, appliqué or embroider a design. You need two sides as both will be viewable. Bear in mind that the bottom of the banners will be hanging about 12 ft from the ground so imagery should not be too small if it is to be seen or read. Your two sections should be 4″ wide x 22ft long.

Design suggestions:

Can be a literal message or image representing LOVE, PEACE & HOPE, or a beautifully pieced abstract design that feels uplifting and that you stitch love into. (eg: HST that scatter upwards) You could put 26 Xs or symbols to represent the 10 people killed and 16 people hit, or even embroider their names on your banner. You are not restricted to English. For example three Koreans lost their lives – you could embroider the words PEACE and LOVE in Korean. (I’ll upload a PDF of this for you in the next couple of days) Show us your love for Toronto, and what it means to you. Be creative and have some fun doing it.



I pieced these letters 9″ high x 2 1/2″ wide, and the white is 3/4″ thick. (Just to give you an idea of size. )


I have Toronto’s CN Tower on the one side, and LOVE on the other. (My letters stand 9″ tall x 2 1/2″ high, and are 3/4″ thick.)


STEP TWO: Make the flag
Once you have made your two banner pieces, place them right sides together. Use the BannerTipTemplate (printed at 100%) to cut the bottom pointed ends.


Pin sides together. Backstitch to start then stitch down one side. As you approach the pointed tip insert the string, folded in half with 1/4″ sticking out as shown. Then holding the string in place at the tip with your fingers, continue stitching. Double stitch over 1/4 part where string is inserted, then up the other side, backstitching at the end. Do not stitch the top end. (This stays open for turning.)


OK so I didn’t pin mine! Let’s just pretend I did, alright? 😉





Snip the bottom corners. (S


Turn the banner right side out. Tip: Poke the pointy end with your thumb to start, then insert a round tipped long stick like a broom stick or feather duster.



STEP THREE: Finishing touches on the flag
Press the banner, making sure that your seams are nice and crisp, not folded inward. Tip: Turn the steam on your iron off so that you don’t burn your fingers!


Top stitch down sides and along bottom close to the edge.


STEP FOUR: Make the tie with binding
Cut a strip 20″ x 1 1/4″

Fold binding strip in half widthways and press. Then fold in half again as shown. Press.
Mark the centre of this strip and the horizontal centre of the banner.


Slide the banner in between the layers, matching centre points. Pin. Topstitch along the tie edge making sure to catch both sides. Backstitch at start and finish.



Note: Please do not replace the one long piece of binding with two shorter strips attached to the corners. The reason being that the one long piece is stronger when many are tied together, and will not put stress on the corners where the ties are attached when pulled. Please follow the above instructions for one long piece of binding. Thanks!

This is how the banners will be tied together…



When we went up to North York area to look for a location for this installation, we were walking up Yonge street where the van incident occurred, and we looked down and noticed these little brass hearts set into the sidewalk just south of Mel Lastman Square. They seemed so poignant scattered right there. So I decided that we needed to include them somehow. The plan is to hang printed heart cards from the banners with messages and prayers written on them by members of the community. (See sample below – still waiting for my little wire hanging hooks, but you get the idea…)


And here is a rough comp of the vision of how the installation will {hopefully} look. It is a large space, so we can have multiple layers if we get enough banners. And the light is awesome in there! So let’s get going and make it beautiful, my friends.
If you are not able to make a banner but would like to contribute a donation towards our installation costs we’d be most grateful. You may do so here:    *Please mention the reason for your donation.
Thank you for participating in a great cause. We are so excited to see all the banners hanging up for everyone in Toronto, especially the community of North York, to enjoy.


21 Comments leave one →
  1. Elisa Galery permalink
    May 11, 2018 3:30 pm

    What a great idea, Berene! I’m planning on making a banner and I’d like to know if we will get them back and if so how long will they stay there. It’s because if we get them back I want to donate mine. If not I’ll just make another one. 🙂

    • May 11, 2018 4:14 pm

      Hi Elisa. Thanks! The banners will remain the property of the city, and North York Arts will be the custodian of them. They may use them for anniversaries. In years to come.

  2. Natalie Skinner permalink
    May 12, 2018 7:24 am

    This is so well thought out, and is going to be such a lovely installation. I’d love to make one for you.

  3. Diane Côté permalink
    May 12, 2018 4:55 pm

    Could you please clarify the purpose of the butcher twine which needs to be able to carry a bit of weight. Thank you.

    • May 12, 2018 5:02 pm

      Hi Diane. The plan is that there will be round thicker cards with hearts printed on them that will hang from the loops. So not a massive weight, regular string will do. Not floss though as we need to be able to easily thread the hanging wires through it easily. Make sense?

  4. Chantal permalink
    May 13, 2018 10:25 am

    Will a single layer of fabric with a rolled hem on either side work as well?
    Thank you.

    • May 13, 2018 10:32 am

      Hi Chantal. For consistency purposes we would like them all made as per the tutorial double sided. However if you don’t have time to piece two sides you could just piece sections of colour for the other side. Thanks for participating.

  5. May 14, 2018 4:56 pm

    I was hoping for a project like this for TO. Thank you Berene for leading it. I will definitely contribute.

  6. May 15, 2018 2:40 pm

    Reblogged this on enlareddeltiempo and commented:
    Un llamado de Amor, paz y esperanza en Homenaje a las víctimas del terrible accidente, ocurrido aquí en nuestro querido Toronto. Lean la convocatoria por favor. Unamos fuerzas!!

  7. Maureen Kay permalink
    May 16, 2018 10:54 am

    I am privileged to be making a banner. You ask for 2 1/2 ” sting and this is folded in a loop. Your one graphic seems to show a longer piece of string folded in two. I look forward to your clarification.

    • May 16, 2018 8:32 pm

      Hi Maureen
      Thanks for contributing to this project! My string was about 2 1/2″ long. It may just look longer in the pic. We don’t need a long loop – just enough to fit a small wire hook in it for hanging some cards with hearts on them. I have added a pic of the turned tip near the end of the post with a sample of the cards that will be hanging from them. This should {hopefully} shed some light on the purpose of the little string loop. Let me know if you are still not sure.

  8. Elena permalink
    May 19, 2018 4:34 pm

    Hi Berene! Count me in! I bought my fabric today for the project. For words, do you want only the text to be for the words Love, Peace and Hope? Just want to be sure before I start cutting and sewing.

    • May 19, 2018 4:48 pm

      Thanks Elena! You can write whatever you wish. Your interpretation of peace, love, and hope; love for Toronto or even specifically Willowdale / North York if you want.

      • Elena permalink
        May 20, 2018 8:17 am

        Great! This happened in my neighbourhood so I wanted to use the words “neighbours”. ❤️

  9. May 23, 2018 7:26 am

    Berene: I just wanted to thank you for being so amazing. This is such a beautiful, inspired idea. I know it is going to be a huge undertaking but it is going to be magnificent. Thank you for being a bright light in this world.

  10. May 25, 2018 2:28 pm

    This is a lovely idea. I figure that 8 (linear) quarter-yard cuts will be enough to make one of these long skinny banners. (If I had these colours in solids right now, in my stash I think I could do it by your early June deadline. But alas, my stash is 99% prints, and what I have in solids are not these colours. Sigh.). I do think the installation will be beautiful though, and appreciated by the people who will see it. Wonderful idea Berene!


  1. Sew-In in Support of the #TORONTO LOVE PROJECT | Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild
  2. Arts group creates colourful tribute to promote healing after Toronto van attack - Ask news
  3. Toronto by Library #22: North York Central – Serendipity, Encouraged

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